Ideas of George Molnar, by Theme

[Australian, 1934 - 1999, Born in Hungary. Senior Research Fellow at the University of Sydney.]

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1. Philosophy / E. Nature of Metaphysics / 1. Nature of Metaphysics
Substantive metaphysics says what a property is, not what a predicate means
2. Reason / D. Definition / 4. Real Definition
A real definition gives all the properties that constitute an identity
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 4. Ontological Dependence
Ontological dependence rests on essential connection, not necessary connection
7. Existence / E. Categories / 3. Proposed Categories
The three categories in ontology are objects, properties and relations
8. Modes of Existence / A. Relations / 4. Formal Relations / a. Types of relation
Reflexive relations are syntactically polyadic but ontologically monadic
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 1. Nature of Properties
If atomism is true, then all properties derive from ultimate properties
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 5. Natural Properties
'Being physical' is a second-order property
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 6. Categorical Properties
'Categorical properties' are those which are not powers
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 13. Tropes / a. Nature of tropes
Are tropes transferable? If they are, that is a version of Platonism
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 1. Powers
A power's type-identity is given by its definitive manifestation
Powers have Directedness, Independence, Actuality, Intrinsicality and Objectivity
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 2. Powers as Basic
The physical world has a feature very like mental intentionality
Dispositions and external powers arise entirely from intrinsic powers in objects
The Standard Model suggest that particles are entirely dispositional, and hence are powers
Some powers are ungrounded, and others rest on them, and are derivative
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 6. Dispositions / a. Dispositions
Dispositions can be causes, so they must be part of the actual world
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 6. Dispositions / b. Dispositions and powers
If powers only exist when actual, they seem to be nomadic, and indistinguishable from non-powers
8. Modes of Existence / D. Universals / 6. Platonic Forms / d. Forms critiques
Platonic explanations of universals actually diminish our understanding
8. Modes of Existence / E. Nominalism / 1. Nominalism / a. Nominalism
For nominalists, predicate extensions are inexplicable facts
Nominalists only accept first-order logic
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 1. Structure of an Object
Structural properties are derivate properties
There are no 'structural properties', as properties with parts
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 7. Essence and Necessity / b. Essence not necessities
The essence of a thing need not include everything that is necessarily true of it
10. Modality / B. Possibility / 1. Possibility
What is the truthmaker for a non-existent possible?
14. Science / D. Explanation / 1. Explanation / a. Explanation
Hume allows interpolation, even though it and extrapolation are not actually valid
15. Nature of Minds / A. Nature of Mind / 1. Mind / a. Mind
The two ways proposed to distinguish mind are intentionality or consciousness
15. Nature of Minds / B. Features of Minds / 4. Intentionality / a. Nature of intentionality
Physical powers like solubility and charge also have directedness
17. Mind and Body / A. Mind-Body Dualism / 4. Occasionalism
Rule occasionalism says God's actions follow laws, not miracles
26. Natural Theory / B. Concepts of Nature / 3. Space / a. Space
Energy fields are discontinuous at the very small
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 1. Causation / b. Types of cause
Singular causation is prior to general causation; each aspirin produces the aspirin generalization
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 1. Causation / d. Naturalised causation
We should analyse causation in terms of powers, not vice versa
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 1. Causation / g. Eliminating causation
We should analyse causation in terms of powers
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 3. General Causation / c. Counterfactual causation
Causal dependence explains counterfactual dependence, not vice versa
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 8. Scientific Essentialism / a. Scientific essentialism
Science works when we assume natural kinds have essences - because it is true
Location in space and time are non-power properties
The essence of a muon doesn't entail its other essential properties
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 8. Scientific Essentialism / b. Scientific necessity
It is contingent which kinds and powers exist in the world
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 12. Against Laws of Nature
The laws of nature depend on the powers, not the other way round